Antimicrobial Resistance A Threat To World Health

New Zealand is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the health effects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and more needs to be done to stave off a major health crisis, says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

“Standard treatments for relatively common ailments are becoming ineffective, because the pathogens that cause them no longer respond to the drugs available,” says NZMA Chair Dr Stephen Child. “The NZMA joins with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine in calling on the Government to ensure an AMR strategy is developed by May 2017 and an action plan is appropriately funded.”

The development of AMR in humans and in other species are inextricably linked, and—while medical professionals have a key role to play in avoiding the overuse of antibiotics—a ‘One Health’ approach across human and animal health is needed to tackle the problem.

“We support antimicrobial stewardship being a national priority, which will need widespread commitment and leadership from all sectors in New Zealand,” says Dr Child. “Today’s unprecedented United Nations discussion on this is a signal that world leaders are taking this seriously. It is important that New Zealand plays its part.”